I may have mentioned my programming days are >30 years in the past? Well they are. It's not to say I haven't dabbled in the last few years. Because I have.

My GitHub Pages site is a prime example; personal, trivial, offering not much mass-appeal; yet requiring a fair degree of time and patience to create.

And I've learned new skills too!

My pages are hosted at; the design (the technical aspects, not necessarily how pretty it looks) is based on a forked version of the poole/hyde repository (repo.) This is where the more in-depth instructions are located. Essentially it's a Web site in a box, free from the shackles of self-hosting and server security concerns.

Getting it personalised in the first instance was surprisingly easy. Take a look at for my site's files.

I'm assuming here that you want to create a new site and want to do it the easy way, as did I. There's a learning curve of course, but there's no compelling reason to step outside the site along the way.

The executive summary:

  1. Login to your account. You may need to create one for this step to work best!
  2. Find and fork the 'poole/hyde' repo, calling your fork [your GitHub username] –
  3. Remove the entry (all the text) in the CNAME file and save it back to your repo. This forms one half of a redirect from a domain external to GitHub Pages.
  4. Customise the fields within the _config.yml file and save it. This effectively personalises the new site.
  5. Edit the post within the _data folder. This is to test whether the basics are working.
  6. Browse to [your GitHub username] – and you should see something superficially like poole/hyde and my sites, but with your content.
  7. Fix anything that doesn't quite work.
  8. Success!

If you don't see what you like, it's not a massive amount of work for anyone with any previous programming (at any level) or HTML background to work stuff out. Knowing a bit of Markdown – to edit and format your posts – will help.

I've changed stuff and added a few things to the basic 'framework', such as:

  • Changed the site name font (I know a tiny amount of CSS, not enough to break stuff, but I always do and have to revert.)
  • An 'Archive' page, basically a copy and paste from the site, but formatted to add post excerpts.
  • A 'Reading list' page, a simple loop reading data from a .csv file.
  • Other stuff.

Once you get into this, the ideas flow quickly.

But, despite all this enthusiasm, faffing about… my primary blog still resides at Jason Irwin's 10Centuries – here.


Because there's more to blogging than fiddling with site nuts and bolts, SEO, testing, etc. – it's all about the writing for me.

Besides, 10Centuries v4 is due soon (currently in invite-only beta) and that's an entirely different ballgame!

Despite my what it states in my bio I am #NotADeveloper.

But it helps to have a basic understanding of what it takes to be one.

A clear mind.

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